It’s been a long time since we last wrote a blog and I thought I might take a little time to say hello and update you on the happenings here in Ohbijouland.
Firstly, its been so nice to be home. I guess once you become so accustomed to being in transit its difficult to settle down. There seems to be a ubiquitous grinding that follows you around; the sound of spinning wheels on an infinite tarmac. The winter has put a halt to this traveling. We are steady, we are grateful and the break has been refreshing and much needed.
We’ve finally found a home base for our practicing. You take many things for granted when you have a house like Bellwoods to shelter your gear, your late night practices etc. There seems to be a lack of little nooks for musicians to hide in in Toronto – we were lucky to find one.
In March we will be holing up in a tiny cottage to write our follow up to Beacons. There have been many experiences swelling in our pockets and I am excited to voice them, put them into string arrangements, embed them into drums beats, bass lines, piano chords. I think the most inspiring moments come from the writing process so I can’t wait to see and hear what lurks ahead.
Also within our little fold are other projects that I am so proud to take note of:
– Ryan Carley is finishing up the last touches of his debut album as Kite Hill. This album is sure to melt your every limb. Ryan’s music is so beautiful and I encourage you all to give a listen and support his talents (www.myspace.com/restandrun).
– Heather and James have been recording, recording, recording. James has been working with the likes of Diamond Rings and Loon Choir. Heather has been recording the incredible Emma McKenna. Please watch out for these releases as well. They both have a golden touch that I’m sure leaves deposits of magic in every note.
– My sister Jennifer has a rare solo show coming up on February 23rd as Canadian Wildlife. Her songs carry precious melodies that dig down to the achey spot in your chest. Here are the details. Come stand front row with me. I will be the one crying with pride. Here is the info:
Wednesday February 23rd at The Garrison
Heavy Vessel Presents:
Whippoorwill: Sylvie Smith (of The Magic) steers her band of brothers through a repertoire of country tinged hits.
Luxury Pond: Toronto singer/songwriter Dan Goldman weaves for us his beguiling tapestry of sound.
Canadian Wildlife: Jennifer Mecija (of Ohbijou) debuts her much anticipated solo project. Beautiful.
Doors: 9pm sharp with Canadian Wildlife at 9:45
– Anissa continues to contribute her cello talents to various artists in the city. I am eager to hear her playing on the upcoming Katie Stelmanis album. She’s told me that Katie and her band (yet unnamed) are out of this galaxy; they are a comet shooting upwards and that we have to catch Katie perform now before she unleashes her prodigious grip on the rest of the world. (www.myspace.com/..katiestelmanis)
As for me I wanted to tell you about an incredible group of girls I feel privileged to be working with.
Their names are Daryl-Anne, Kristina, Flerida and Desiree and they are a part of the Clutch Program run out of the Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture.
CLUTCH is a free six-month arts-based program for young Filipina women to start a dialogue with each other, get mentorship from professional artists within the community, have access to professional tools to hone their creativity, define their identity, explore their cultural heritage, and tell their stories on their terms. CLUTCH aims to provide hands-on artistic and leadership development, through the exploration of cultural identity as the foundation for empowerment.
The girls have been working on a short film that I have been helping to develop the soundtrack for. The big opening for the film is taking place on February 20th.
Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture presents…
ALUNSINA: A Clutch Exhibit
Featuring works by:
Kristina Guison / Daryl Anne Panganiban / Desiree Gamotin / Flerida Peña
Saturday, February 20, 7PM – 11PM
Film Screening: 8PM
Six months. One night. Reflecting the creative spectrum of four young Filipina artists.
Visual Art // Installation // Film // Photography // Music // Performance
February 20 – March 6
Wed – Fri 1PM-8PM, Sat 1PM-6PM
“There was a time when there was still no world. No sun, no moon. No time.
Let me create, the goddess cried.”
Oh and I spent a couple of wonderful days in studio with Leon Taheny and Jeff Debutte of the Acorn recording a song for the compilation album Sing Me To Sleep. We were asked to record a cover of Dear Prudence and we’re pretty happy with the results! Sigur Ros, Telekinesis, Peter Broderick, Neil Halstead are among the other contributors. More info below!
American Laundromat Records Presents:
“Sing Me To Sleep” is a whimsical collection of lullabies and non-lullabies covered by some of ALR’s favorite indie artists, including Tanya Donelly, Dean & Britta, Say Hi, Telekinesis, The Real Tuesday Weld, Julie Peel, Sigur Rós, The Leisure Society, Stars, and many more. All proceeds from this wonderful album are donated to The Valerie Fund The Valerie Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that provides support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. The CD will release worldwide on May 18, 2010.
All of this leaves me really excited and we will bring you updates more often.
ps. We are firming up the details for some extensive travels! It’s a secret now but we will reveal soon.
pps. On tour in Saskatoon we were given a remix of Wildfires by Zealandia. Check it out on our myspace, we really enjoy it!